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how long does it take to complete PEP1?

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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Ann Torrence wrote: I think it would be helpful to suggest some guidelines to folks brainstorming these various topics on how much time each belt should take. Yes, people vary tremendously in how fast they learn and work. But some of these lists are so ambitious-they would take all of a person's free time for a year just to do one, much less 20 topics envisioned to achieve the PEP1. Kind of like college where each prof would pile on the homework in their beloved topic, forgetting that the student has 4 other classes that semester. So profs have a guideline, usually 3 hours of homework/study per hour of classroom time.

I am thinking that if a gapper is here at wheaton labs, then in their spare time they should be able to complete PEP1 in about three years. There might be some people that already have a lot of these skills that can do it in one year. And there are others that might take five years.

Just like how some people are able to get a bachelors degree in two years, and some people take seven years. But most people take four years.

Further, I think that a core piece of PEP1 is that it is far more self driven than anything in a university setting or military setting. If you don't feel like doing it, then don't do it.

Here at Wheaton Labs, I think some people will do the gapper thing and work toward PEP1. Some bread labor and soul labor could meet PEP1 stuff. And in their spare time, people could do other stuff for PEP1. And I think that some day there could be some people that show up here and they plop down shallow roots funds - so they start off with their own acre. They feed and shelter themselves. They devote their full attention to PEP1. And I think there are some people that would start off as gappers and eventually they are feeding themselves and paying a bit of rent on an acre (derived from some income that might have sprung from PEP1 efforts). So they are no longer gappers.

As for how long it might take to get a white belt level on a merit badge: that is going to vary a lot. For the gardening one, that will take at least six months - more likely 18 months. A person is going to plant a LOT of seeds and do a lot of mulching. And then .... time passes. And if things don't work out, then they try again next year. Although it is plausible to get a green belt the first year, that seems unlikely. If nothing else, some attempts at growing things might go poorly. So 90% of what you grow could do great, but the last 10% didn't come through. Chances are good that in the second year you will meet the white belt requirements for that last 10% (maybe even enough to qualify for green belt). And it is possible that in the first year you grew enough of 60% of your stuff to qualify for green belt. So I suspect that a lot of people won't get their white belt until the second year, but a lot of people will get their green belt and their brown belt in the third year.

Some of the other badges might be able to pick up a white belt in less than a week.

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Location: Fennville MI
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Clearly some things have inherent time sinks and others do not. Growing plants and raising animals being obvious examples. You cannot raise a pig for 7 months in less than 7 months.

Building a cob house might be an example of something that could take years or weeks depending on how intensely you worked on it.

A person that approached metalwork like it was their full time job could likely blow through a white belt curriculum in a couple of weeks. Pretty much no time sinks in that trade.
I could see someone putting in their garden and using all the garden time sink for getting a couple of other badges. Efficiency .
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Peter Ellis wrote:
I could see someone putting in their garden and using all the garden time sink for getting a couple of other badges. Efficiency .

I learned this technique from Rachael Ray, who calls it a "pocket of time". Almost everything I do now involves first thinking about whether any of the individual components have a pocket of time that might need them to be done first, with otherwise more important jobs being done during that pocket of time. I consider it a very permaculture concept, and vastly increases the number of jobs that can be fit into a day.

Another bonus is that organising and ordering pockets of time for greatest efficiency is very analagous to the Millenium Prize Problem of P vs NP, and I could really use the $1Million prize if I one day accidently solved it while organising my pockets of time!
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